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Castle Talks on Cross Border Cooperation - Do borders help to foster intercultural undestanding?

On the 19th and 20th of March, the fourth Castle Talks on Cross Border Cooperation, a series of conferences organised as part of the Jean Monnet project on conflicts and cooperation in the border regions of the European Union, took place at the Château de Pourtalès in Strasbourg. Wishing to provide some answers to the question “Do borders help to foster intercultural understanding?” this last session was devoted to the topic of interculturality in a cross-border context. To this end, it brought together cross-border cooperation practitioners, academics from different disciplines and master students who were able to share experiences and knowledge of cross-border regions.

The first day was thus the opportunity to tackle this problem with a practical and academic approach, based on the study of particular cases. During the morning, professionals and researchers were thus interested in the border area between Germany and Poland, then in the afternoon in the one between Poland and the Czech Republic.  These presentations were followed at the beginning of the evening by a round table allowing the various speakers to exchange among themselves and with the public on the topic of interculturality in cross-border regions.

After an introduction by university geographers and practitioners from different institutes of cross-border cooperation, the second day was dedicated to student presentations. Their interventions, and the comments of the academics and professionals present, made it possible to tackle specific subjects such as the migrants’ crisis and to establish a comparison with examples of non-European borders, such as the border between Mexico and the United States.


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